Foxfire Mountain in Sevierville, TN, is best known as an outdoor attraction in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. They began by building Ziplines for visitors to ride through the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains, then they added an ATV Bear Crawler Adventures and the longest swinging bridge in the United States. The swinging bridge is what led to this week’s bridge-building conference.
|The sign says “We build bridges!”|
To get the expertise needed to build the swinging bridge, Foxfire Mountain owner Marc Postlewaite went to Ken Franz of Bridges to Prosperity, a not-for-profit organization that builds bridges throughout the world. The engineers and volunteers from Bridges to Prosperity (BTP) give their time and expertise to help and teach people to build bridges needed to cross their land and allow them access to cities and hospitals. BTP helped Foxfire with plans, staff and direction to get their bridge going and the end result is America’s Bridge to Prosperity at Foxfire Mountain. And when BTP needed a place for their first bridge-building conference, they called Foxfire Mountain.
|Volunteers begin to learn the processes.|
Avery Bang is the Executive Director of BTP and she needed a place where volunteers could learn to pour concrete, set rebar, and physically build bridges and bridge components. They needed a place for approximately 130 student volunteers and BTP staffers to meet, work and sleep and Foxfire’s 150 acres of East Tennessee wilderness fit the bill. Foxfire had already donated over $10,000 to the organization, and providing space, facilities and transportation for the conference seemed to be a no-brainer. The Bear Crawler ATVs filled the needs of moving people and equipment throughout the conference locations.
|Tent City for the volunteers.|
Bridges to Prosperity has already built 130 bridges around the world, 32 bridges in 8 different countries just in 2013. The cables for the swinging bridges are donated by shipyards who have very stringent regulations on cable-life – much stricter than the actual life of the cable – and other supplies are acquired regionally with donations and sponsorship money. You can send donations to Bridges to Prosperity by sending a check to Bridges to Prosperity, 5007 C-126 Victory Boulevard, Yorktown, VA 23693. Or you can visit Foxfire Mountain, enjoy the America’s Bridge to Prosperity experience, and part of the ticket sales will go to BTP. Foxfire Mountain also supports the area Boys and Girls Clubs.
|Marion, Stephanie & Marc Postlewaite|
True philanthropic ventures are hard to find but Avery Bang realizes the huge impact that Foxfire Mountain is making on the world. She said, “Foxfire Mountain is so generous… we couldn’t have had the conference without them. This event will have a huge impact on people throughout the world thanks to Foxfire”.
For more information and coupons to Foxfire Mountain Adventures go to https://bestreadguidesmokymountains.com and click on the Outdoor Attractions tab.